Loan Watch: O'Connor helps Gills to historic win

By SFC Media time Mon 15 Feb Loan Watch
Photo by Kent Pro Images/GFC | Tom O'Connor

Tom O’Connor’s Gillingham side took the lead three times on their way to their second ever win at the Valley on Saturday. This and more in this week’s Loan Watch, in association with Kuflink…

Steve Evans’ side went ahead after just 31 seconds but were pegged back twice by hosts Charlton in a game where Saints’ O’Connor played the duration.

The winner came four minutes from time through Kyle Dempsey, meaning it’s just one defeat in the last five for the Gills.

The fellow Saints loanne plying his trade at Priestfield this season, Callum Slattery, missed Saturday’s win with a minor injury, which will also see him out of Tuesday’s match with Peterborough.

SHREWSBURY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 09: Jake Vokins of Sunderland reacts during the Sky Bet League One match between Shrewsbury Town and Sunderland at Montgomery Waters Meadow on February 09, 2021 in Shrewsbury, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Jake Vokins made his second successive start (Photo: Getty Images).

Elsewhere in Sky Bet League One it was a week of mixed fortunes for Jake Vokins at Sunderland.

The young full-back started his second successive game for the Black Cats on Tuesday night, but couldn’t help his side avoid defeat at Shrewsbury Town.

Vokins played 75 minutes as the hosts came from behind to take all three points.

On Saturday, the Saints loanee was an unused substitute for Lee Johnson’s side, who bounced back with an emphatic 4-1 win over Doncaster Rovers.

Amongst those on the receiving end of the Sunderland response was Josh Sims, who continued his recovery from a long-term injury by playing the final 38 minutes at the Stadium of Light.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Yan Valery of Birmingham City controls the ball as Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall of Luton Town and Pelly Ruddock of Luton Town look on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Luton Town at St Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium on February 13, 2021 in Birmingham, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Yan Valery during his first Birmingham City start (Photo: Getty Images).

Into the Championship and it was a first start for Yan Valery in Birmingham City’s colours on Saturday.

The 21-year-old played the duration but was unable to help his side to three points against Luton Town, who scored the only goal of the game on 31 minutes.

Aitor Karanka’s side have one win in their last 12 Championship outings but remain just the one point from safety.

Valery will be hoping to help his Birmingham side to a response on Wednesday night as they travel to Millwall.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Shane Long of AFC Bournemouth is challenged by Joe Worrall of Nottingham Forest  during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and AFC Bournemouth at City Ground on February 13, 2021 in Nottingham, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
Shane Long during the draw with Forest (Photo: Getty Images).

Moving back down south Shane Long continued his and caretaker manager Jonathan Woodgate’s unbeaten start to life at AFC Bournemouth with a draw at Nottingham Forest.

Long started before being substituted on 81 minutes as neither side could force a breakthrough.

The Cherries have the chance to go fifth on Wednesday night as they host 21st placed Rotherham United.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Angus Gunn of Stoke City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Norwich City and Stoke City at Carrow Road on February 13, 2021 in Norwich, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
Angus Gunn continued his recovery from injury (Photo: Getty Images).

It was a difficult afternoon for Angus Gunn and Stoke City on Saturday, who were humbled 4-1 by league leaders Norwich at Carrow Road.

Despite making a positive return from injury with his second successive start, Gunn was unable to prevent his side conceding four to an experienced Canaries side.

Michael O’Neil’s side are searching for their first win since mid-December.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 14: Lucas Digne of Everton and Mario Lemina of Fulham battle for the ball  during the Premier League match between Everton and Fulham at Goodison Park on February 14, 2021 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Jason Cairnduff - Pool/Getty Images)
Lemina helped Fulham to a historic win (Photo: Getty Images).

Up a league now into the Premier League and Mario Lemina had plenty of reasons to smile after a big win for his Fulham side.

The midfielder played 91 minutes before being replaced in injury time as the Cottagers recorded their first ever win at high-flying Everton.

Scott Parker’s side have just one defeat in their last five league games, but remain six points off of safety in 18th place.

MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 14: Lautaro Martinez of FC Internazionale is tackled by Wesley Hoedt of S.S. Lazio during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale  and SS Lazio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on February 14, 2021 in Milan, Italy. Sporting stadiums around Italy remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Wesley Hoedt during the weekend's defeat at Inter (Photo: Getty Images).

Finally, in Europe, it was a week of contrasting fortunes for Lazio’s Wesley Hoedt and Celtic’s Mohamed Elyounoussi.

The Celtic midfielder featured twice from the bench as Neil Lennon’s Celtic side recorded two wins in the Scottish Premier League; looking to close the now 18-point gap on leaders Rangers.

Meanwhile Hoedt made his first Serie A start for Lazio since 6th January but failed to prevent his side losing out to league leaders Inter Milan 3-1; their first loss in eight league games.

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